Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Best chefs gather at The Cave
Vintage Cave chef Chris Kajioka, left, welcomed chef Blaine Wetzel, right, of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Washington, and pastry chef Baruch Ellsworth of Canlis, Seattle, into his kitchen for a collaboration event Feb. 23 and 24.
By Nadine Kam
The Vintage Cave welcomed Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn, Lummi Island, Washington, during a collaboration event also featuring resident chef Chris Kajioka and pastry chef Baruch Ellsworth of Canlis, Seattle.
Wetzel was one of 10 Best New Chefs recognized by Food & Wine magazine last year, and came prepared with his regional sockeye salmon and alder wood, while also making time to go foraging with local chef Mark Noguchi for such ingredients as He'eia seaweeds and yam shoots.
The collaboration dinners took place Feb. 23 and 24, with 10 courses involving 15 dishes, including three desserts created by Ellsworth, also deemed "one of the best new pastry chefs in the country," by Food & Wine.
It was a great opportunity to sample their fare in such an intimate setting, and always so wonderful to see the creative work being done in the Cave.
As I told Chris later, it takes a lot of hard work and thought to reinvent the way we perceive, prepare and present food, and I appreciate the effort and out-of-the-box thinking.
The hard work starts with top chefs before trickling down to change the way we all eat. That's why we now can enjoy farm-fresh Hawaii regional cuisine plate lunches for about $10 to $12, where 20 years ago it was only available in high-end restaurants.
At our table someone joked that it's just a matter of time before we see truffle fries at McDonald's.
Here are the dishes presented: